Contests are an excellent tool to generate excitement and
engagement on your Facebook page as well as generate leads. Following their
consistent trend of changing policies, Facebook now makes it easier for smaller
and mid-size retailers to run a contest without having to build an app.
Retailers: If you ever considered running a contest on Facebook, NOW is the
time to do it, and here’s how.
But what can Facebook contests do for ME?
Before the time of Edge Rank (Facebook’s content filter algorithm) you could
reach all of your 20,000 followers on Facebook. But now the content is filtered
and if your page is not very engaging or just starting out you are not getting
all the eyeballs Facebook claims you have. Here’s where contests can help:
running a contest every month boosts your engagement and tells Edge Rank (and
Facebook) that what you post matters (so they show it to more people). Contests
can provide a lot of benefits for retailers such as higher engagement, new
likes, reaching new users, adding to your email list and generating sales or leads.
New rules, same tricks
Reminiscent of older times, we are no longer restricted to running contests on
third party apps. Retailers can run the contest on their timeline and can simply
require a “like”, “comment” or a “message” as an entry to the contest.
Requiring users to share anything on the timeline as part of being eligible for
the contest is not allowed. Ultimately
you are responsible for knowing and disclosing the guidelines under which the
contest should be run. Since it changes frequently it’s not a bad idea to
bookmark the page here.
Designing the Contest
Running a contest is not an easy task; make sure to put some thought into it.
your Goals: What does success look like? Likes, engagement, email
of contest: If you are dipping your feet into the contest world for the
first time, the easiest type of contest to run is the “sweepstakes” contest
where users provide personal information to enter and a winner is chosen
randomly. An entry into the contest
could be a simple “like” on the post and a “comment”. Or you could get the
users to private message you their email as well.
Make sure the prize is exciting and relevant to your brand. If you’re selling
furniture, winning an iPad might not attract the right type of customer; it may
just attract people who want an iPad.
the rules: Make rules and requirements to entry very clear with the use
of an easy to read graphic attached to your post. Don’t forget to mention the
ads: These act as a megaphone for your contest. If you want to reach a
newer audience, it’s a great idea to take advantage of Facebook ads and target
“friends of friends” (friends of your fans). Promote your Facebook contest post
during the course of the contest timeline and gain new followers and likes. You can see the details for Facebook ads here.
promotion: You have other channels don’t ya? Well use them! Cross
promote your contest regularly through email, blog, twitter and other social
and digital properties. You can also cross promote through traditional channels
like direct mail, ads or a tag on your TV spots.
All things come to an end, and so will your contest. Make sure to contact the winners
(through the emails you’ve collected) and announce them on your communication
channels. If possible have them take a picture with the prize. But wait! There
is an opportunity to capitalize on the other entrants. Make everyone feel like
a winner by sending them a small gift: 25% off an item or some other exclusive offer at
your store. Now you’re doing contests right.